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Instructions for authors

Table of contents

1. General

Aim: The aim of the PAMJ is to foster a culture of information sharing and publication among researchers and health professionals in Africa, aimed at enhancing the availability of health information, deepening understanding of Africa's unique challenges, and ultimately improving health outcomes for the continent's people.. Scope: We publish original scientific research on clinical, public health, social, political, economic and all other factors affecting the health of populations in Africa.

Prior to submit your first article, you should apply for a user name and password. PAMJ offers a user friendly process for online submission through the PAMJ Manuscript Hut ™.

Short reports will include case report, commentary, conference proceedings, editorials, viewpoints, and letter to the editors. Short Communications should be no longer than 1500 words. They must have an abstract and references, but the main body of the text does not have to follow the original research´s format. We give privilege to invited reviews and encourage prospective authors of systematic reviews to discuss the project with the editorial office before development.

Manuscripts will be initially screened by an editor for adherence to the journal´s instructions or identification of gross deficiencies. At this stage, the corresponding author can be contacted by the editorial office for clarification or the manuscript can be rejected. Once this initial screening is completed, manuscripts are sent to two-three referees; if appropriate, a statistical reviewer is involved. On average, we will report back to authors within 6 weeks with a first decision. Authors should however note that the average duration from submission to publication is roughly 3 months (1 - 6 months). We encourage authors not to contact the editorial office less than 6 weeks after the initial submission. We discourage and will ignore requests by authors to speed up the publication process for a particular manuscript.

Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript, and should not be submitted by anyone on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission and peer review.

Languages of publication are English and French. All manuscripts in French should include an English translation of the title, abstract and keywords. Poor English of French do not prevent acceptance provided the paper's content is of high scientific quality; we however strongly encourage authors to have their manuscript reviewed by a fluent English speaker and writer to improve its language contents prior to submission. All accepted manuscripts are copy-edited.

To facilitate rapid publication and to minimize administrative costs, PAMJ journals accepts only online submission. The submission process is compatible with all the latest browsers. Ensure that javascript is enable in your browser.

Files can be submitted as a batch. The submission process allows the authors to interrupt it at any time, and continue where they left off at their return on the site.

During submission you will be asked to provide a cover letter. Use this to explain why your manuscript should be published in the journal and to elaborate on any issues relating to our editorial policies detailed in the instructions for authors.

Assistance with the process of manuscript preparation and submission is available from the customer support team (sales-service@panafrican-med-journal). We also provide a collection of links to useful tools and resources for scientific authors, on our resources for authors page.

PAMJ content licensing: Articles published in PAMJ Journals are Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited..

2. Submission of a paper

Online submission
PAMJ Journals only accept online submissions. Click here to access the Online Manuscript Submission System. Simple onscreen instructions are provided. If you experience problems with the online submission system, send an email to Do not send your manuscript to that email address, it will be ignored.

Conflicts of interest
Will be mentioned in the manuscript as "Authors declared they have no conflicts of interest" if the authors have no competing interest. Otherwise state the relevant competing interest for all authors.

3. Organization of a full-length research paper.

Download the journal manuscript template to help you format your manuscript.

Maximum length: 4000 words in main text (i.e., excluding abstract, references, legends, tables and figures), 4 tables/figures maximum, and a structured abstract of 250 words plus up to 50 references.

Title page - This page should states: a) The title of the paper (include the study design if appropriate; for example: A versus B in the treatment of C: a randomized controlled trial; X is a risk factor for Y: a case control study), b) Authors names (full name - no qualification, no abbreviations). Strictly follow this order: First Name, Middle name (if ever), Last Name. E.g.: Paul Kevin Akuna), c) institution(s) of origin, d) Corresponding author plus his/her address, telephone and fax number, e-mail address, e) Word count (for both abstract and the main text)

Abstract - The abstract of the manuscript should not exceed 250 words and must be structured into separate sections: Background: the context and purpose of the study; Methods: how the study was performed and statistical tests used; Results: the main findings; Conclusion: brief summary and potential implications. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract.

Keywords. Up to ten keywords should be provided at the end of the Abstract. The keywords should be Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) Terms. Use the MeSH on Deman Tool to help suggest keywords.

Abbreviations a list of abbreviations is not accepted. Define abbreviations the first time they are used in the text and use them thereafter. No abbreviations in the abstract except for vary know ones.

Background The background section should be written from the standpoint of researchers without specialist knowledge in that area and must clearly state - and, if helpful, illustrate - the background to the research and its aims. Reports of clinical research should, where appropriate, include a summary of a search of the literature to indicate why this study was necessary and what it aimed to contribute to the field. The section should end with a very brief statement of what is being reported in the article.

Methods Sufficient information should be given to permit repetition of the experimental work. This should include the design of the study, the setting, the type of participants or materials involved, a clear description of all interventions and comparisons, and the type of analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate.

Results - The Results should be stated concisely without discussion and should not normally contain any references. The same data should not be presented in figures and tables. Do not repeat all the data that is set out in the tables or figures in the text; emphasize or summarize only important observations.

Discussion - The Discussion should deal with the interpretation of the results and not recapitulate them. We encourage authors to write their Discussion in a structured way, as follows:a) statement of principal findings; b) strengths and weaknesses of the study; c) strengths and weaknesses in relation to other studies; d) discussion of important differences in results; e) meaning of the study; f) unanswered questions and future research.

Limitations - Always aknowledge the potential the limitations of your study that and how they impact or influence the interpretation of the findings from your research, the generalizability, applications to practice, and/or utility of findings.

Conclusion - The conclusion should provide a brief summarize of the key findings, potential implications and the way forward.

What is already known on this topic: include a maximum of 03 bullet points on what is already known on this topic.

What this study adds: include a maximum of 03 bullet points on what your study adds.

Acknowledgements - Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the study by making substantial contributions to conception, design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or who was involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content, but who does not meet the criteria for authorship. Please also include their source(s) of funding. Please also acknowledge anyone who contributed materials essential for the study. The role of a medical writer must be included in the acknowledgements section, including their source(s) of funding. Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements. Please list the source(s) of funding for the study, for each author, and for the manuscript preparation in the acknowledgements section. Authors must describe the role of the funding body, if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Competing interest - Authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing conflicts of interest that might bias their work. They should acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the work and other personal connections. Authors are required to complete a declaration of competing interests. All competing interests that are declared will be listed at the end of published articles. Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read 'The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests'. When completing your declaration, please consider the following questions:

Financial competing interests

  • In the past five years have you received reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of this manuscript, either now or in the future? Is such an organization financing this manuscript (including the article-processing charge)? If so, please specify.
  • Do you hold any stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of this manuscript, either now or in the future? If so, please specify
  • Do you hold or are you currently applying for any patents relating to the content of the manuscript? Have you received reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript? If so, please specify.
  • Do you have any other financial competing interests? If so, please specify.
Non-financial competing interests
  • Are there any non-financial competing interests (political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, intellectual, commercial or any other) to declare in relation to this manuscript? If so, please specify.
  • If you are unsure as to whether you, or one your co-authors, has a competing interest please discuss it with the editorial office.

Authors' contributions - In order to give appropriate credit to each author of a paper, the individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section. The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URM) of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) recommends the following criteria for authorship (Learn more about the URM on Authorship and Contributorship):

  • Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
  • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
  • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

References - References must be numbered consecutively, in square brackets (like this [1], or this [2,3] or even this [4-7]), in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends. Reference citations should not appear in titles or headings. Each reference must have an individual reference number. Preferably, limit the number of references to 50. If automatic numbering systems are used, the reference numbers must be finalized and the bibliography must be fully formatted before submission. We encourage authors to use a recent version of EndNote (version 5 and above) or Reference Manager when formatting their reference list, as this allows references to be automatically extracted. Examples of the PAMJ reference style are shown below. Please take care to follow the reference style precisely; references not in the correct style may be retyped, necessitating tedious proofreading.

We strongly advocate the use of Zotero, a free and open source reference management software which is a very good alternative to expensive ones.

Manuscripts not formatted according to the PAMJ style will be returned to the authors. An example is provided below (note the use of the dot after the author list, the title, the journal and the date).
  1. Kirikou Thomas, Doe JA, Shaba KV, Kashawa Tuma. A sample of the PAMJ reference style as shown on the journal website. J Hist Fant. 2006; 76(11):204-212
  2. Kirikou Thomas, Doe JA, Shaba Kevin, Kashawa TB. Another sample of the PAMJ reference style: as shown on the journal website. J Hist Fant. 2006; 76(12):212-228
  3. Kirikou TA, Doe John, Shaba KV, Kashawa TB. Another sample of the PAMJ reference style: as shown on the journal website. J Hist Fant. 2006; 76:212-228

Formatting book references: Use the format below to reference a book
Author of the book. Title of the book. Year of publication. Publisher Location. Publisher name
Example: Fleiss JL. Statistical methods for rates and proportions - 3rd edition. 2003. Hoboken. J Wiley
NB: Note the use of dots to separate the sections of the book reference.

Formatting web references: Use the format below to reference a web page or a web site
Author of the page. Name of the source (if any). Year of data. url. Date link accessed
Example: SAS Institute. SAS 9. Accessed 10 April 2005
NB: Note the use of dots to separate the sections of the web reference.

Supplementary material/Appendices (if any) - Submit any supplementary material to the editorial office bye email. The editorial office can also decide which material will be published as supplemental material.

Tables (if any) - General instructions for tables.

  • Append tables at the end of your manuscript, after the reference section
  • Maximum 3 tables per articles. If more tables are required, it will have to be justified
  • Each table should fit on one page. No table overlapping over several pages. So no matter the size of the table, make sure it can comfortably fit on a single page (portrait or landscape)
  • Elements inside the table should be contained within cells.
Download samples of correctly formatted tables (Microsoft Word 2002-2003, *.DOC): Table 1, Table 2.

Figures (if any) - General instructions for figures.

  • Include a legend for your images inside the main text, after the reference section
  • Should be provided as separated files during the manuscript submission. Do not embed images within the main text.
  • Major image formats are accepted excluding BMP. (JPEG, PNG, TIFF)
  • Provide high resolution images, not tiny thumbnails. Image of poor quality will be rejected.
  • The size of the uploaded image is limited to 4 MB.
  • Avoid unnecessary large borders on your figure or image. Click below to see examples of good and bad images.

Examples of good and bad image with borders (Click on the images to enlarge)
Good Image Good Image

Files must be named with the three letter file extension appropriate to the file type (eg: .jpeg, .png). You will be asked to provide figure labels during the submission process. (The label is the small comment that usually goes with the figure. Example: Figure 1: Prevalence of diabetes in the study population aged 18 years and above. Findings of the TRICARE Diabetes Study, Uganda, 2006.)
If you use excel to generate your graph, avoid 3D, crowded axes, colored background, strong grid etc.. Use Tahoma font (size 10 maximum) for all items in your graphs (Title, legend, axes etc..). Expand your Excel graph to obtain a large image, copy and paste it in Paint (Microsoft Paint), crop any white border and save the image as PNG or JPEG. Submit this image for your manuscript (don't forget to include the legends for each figure inside the main manuscript) Look at an acceptable formatted Excel graph here. See the detailed sample instructions for a nicely formatted Excel graph here.

Final notes on manuscripts quality

Consult the PAMJ submission checklist to ensure that your submission complies with our basic requirements.

When finalizing your research manuscript, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are your study aims clearly stated and logical?
  2. Is the rationale/justification for conducting the study clear?
  3. Are the methods described in sufficient detail so that the experiment could be reproduced?
  4. Is the study design robust and appropriate to the stated aim(s)?
  5. Are the conclusions drawn supported by the data?
  6. Is the discussion section critical and comprehensive?
  7. Are the references appropriate in number and up-to-date?
  8. Are statements supported appropriately by parenthetical citations?

The STROBE Checklists provide good guidance on how to report observational research well. We strongly advise that you use them.
Unofficial French versions of some STROBE checklists are available here: STROBE Case-Control Studies | STROBE Cross Sectional Studies

Download the MS Word version of the STROBE checklists. Include the completed form as an annex to your submission.

STROBE cross-sectional studies (English)
STROBE case-control studies (English)
STROBE cohort studies (English)
STROBE études transversales (Francais)
STROBE étude cas-témoins (Francais)

For qualitative Studies, we recommend the use of the Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ), available at the Equator Network.

4. Case reports.

Case reports represent an important fraction of paper published in medical journals and are an important source of learning and experience sharing for clinicians.
The case reports that we will consider for publication should be:
  • An important clinical lesson
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect
  • Learning from medical errors and support to medical education
  • Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
  • Rare disease or new disease
  • New way to procedure to diagnose a disease
  • Innovative way to manage a condition/disease in an African setting
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms
  • Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions

The PAMJ follows the CARE guidelines (for CAse REports) to support accuracy, transparency, and usefulness of case reports. Authors of case reports should ensure that their submission follows the CARE Check list. An unofficial French version of the CARE check-list, by the PAMJ, is available.

We ecourage authors to use CARE-Writer to write their case reports

  1. Title – The diagnosis or intervention of primary focus followed by the words “case report”.
  2. Key Words – 2 to 5 key words that identify diagnoses or interventions in this case report (including "case report").
  3. Abstract – (structured or unstructured)
    • Introduction – What is unique about this case and what does it add to the scientific literature?
    • The patient’s main concerns and important clinical findings.
    • The primary diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes.
    • Conclusion – What are one or more “take-away” lessons from this case report?
  4. Introduction – Briefly summarizes why this case is unique and may include medical literature references.
  5. Patient Information
    • De-identified patient specific information.
    • Primary concerns and symptoms of the patient.
    • Medical, family, and psychosocial history including relevant genetic information.
    • Relevant past interventions and their outcomes.
  6. Clinical Findings – Describe significant physical examination (PE) and important clinical findings.
  7. Timeline – Historical and current information from this episode of care organized as a timeline (figure or table).
  8. Diagnostic Assessment
    • Diagnostic methods (PE, laboratory testing, imaging, surveys).
    • Diagnostic challenges.
    • Diagnosis (including other diagnoses considered).
    • Prognostic characteristics when applicable.
  9. Therapeutic Intervention
    • Types of therapeutic intervention (pharmacologic, surgical, preventive).
    • Administration of therapeutic intervention (dosage, strength, duration).
    • Changes in therapeutic interventions with explanations.
  10. Follow-up and Outcomes
    • Clinician- and patient-assessed outcomes if available.
    • Important follow-up diagnostic and other test results.
    • Intervention adherence and tolerability. (How was this assessed?)
    • Adverse and unanticipated events.
  11. Discussion
    • Strengths and limitations in your approach to this case.
    • Discussion of the relevant medical literature.
    • The rationale for your conclusions.
    • The primary "take-away" lessons from this case report (without references) in a one paragraph conclusion.
    • Competing interests: the authors should declare all competing interests
    • Figures (If any) should be included after the references. Pictures of patients should follow the journal guidance on preserving patient privacy and confidentiality.
    • References: Should be limited to 10
  12. Patient Perspective – The patient should share their perspective on the treatment(s) they received.
  13. Informed Consent – The patient should give informed consent. (Provide if requested.)

The CARE checklist is available for download here: CARE Checklist (In English) . Follow the link to the care-statement to see examples of case reports formatted according to the CARE guidelines. Additional resources for authors are available from the CARE guidelines authors page. An un-official French version of the CARE checklist is available.

Case reports will be externally peer reviewed only when their scientific contents are beyond the capacity of the scientific editors and editorial board team.

Download case report templates to help formatting your manuscript.

CARE Writer: We encourage rge authors to use the CARE Writer, an online application that helps authors organize and format the information necessary to write systematic and transparent case reports while following the CARE guideline.

6. Case series.

A case series is a group or series of case reports involving patients who were given similar treatment. Reports of case series usually contain detailed information about the individual patients. This includes demographic information (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin) and information on diagnosis, treatment, response to treatment, and follow-up after treatment [Definition of a case series]. A case series should include:

  • Abstract: a single block paragraph of up to 250 words summarising findings of the clinical cases in the series. Not structured in paragraphs
  • Introduction
  • Methods: describing the method of the case series, including treatement procedures if any.
  • Results: providing the findings of the series
  • Discussion: providing the findings of the series
  • Limitations: acknowledging the limitation of your study
  • Conclusion: should highlight the educational aspect of the case report
  • What is already know on this topic: maximum of 03 bullet points
  • What this study adds: maximum of 03 bullet points
  • Competing interests
  • Authors' contributions: as per ICMJE authorship criteria
  • Acknowledgements: (if any)
  • List of tables and/or figures (If any): with their detailed legends
  • References: should be limited to 20

Case-series should follow the STROBE guidance for cross-sectional studies.

7. Images in clinical medicine.

In images in medicine, we publish clinical images of medical conditions, common or uncommon. This section also accommodates images of surprising, innovative or uncommon public health situations. We want to capture the visual experience of clinical providers or public health professionals, images they think should be shared with colleagues to enrich their experience or for educational purposes. When submitting images for consideration for publication as Images in Medicine, ensure the following:

  • The images should be original; (you are the author of the images and the images have not been published somewhere else)
  • The images should be of high quality: blurred, distorted, pixilated or low resolution images will not be accepted.

To submit an image for publication in the PAMJ Images in Medicine section, follow the submission instructions below:

  • Ensure that you select “Image in Medicine” as manuscript type.
  • All submission should have a title
  • Not more than 2 authors allowed for manuscripts submitted in the category Images in Medicine
  • Only one image is allow by submission
  • Provide the author names in the order First Name Middle Name (If Any) Last Name; e-mail address, Affiliation of all the authors.
  • All images should include an abstract of not more than 250 words, this will also serve as the legend of the image. Enter the abstract in the abstract field during the submission process.
  • Provide a short letter to the editors of PAMJ explaining why your images should be published in journal.
  • Upload your image as a separate figure, only the formats PNG, JPEG, BMP or TIFF are accepted.
  • Do not include the title of the image or the legend on the figure.
  • Where prompted to upload the manuscript, upload your Microsoft word file, the file should include: The title of the image, the names and affiliations of the authors, the legend of the images (not more than 250 words). Include the image in the word document.
  • For the image uploaded, we will assume the top of the image as is. If the top is in a different location then the image normal top, please use an arrow to indicate the top of the image.
  • You can combine multiple images in a single panel. Ensure you label the panel appropriately (A, B, C, etc.) in the image legend, use the panel indicator to explain or describe the content of the image panel (see an example of a multi-panels image).
  • For clinical images, the abstract associated should succinctly present relevant clinical information, including a short description of the patient's history, relevant physical and laboratory findings, clinical course, response to treatment (if any), and condition at last follow-up; all this in not more than 250 Words. Also include: the final diagnosis, and 3 differential diagnosis of the condition. Use the template provided to format your manuscript.
Special case of photographs of patients

  • If a patient is identifiable in the photo, the patient will have to provide is written consent to have his photograph published by signing the PAMJ Release For Photograph of Identifiable Patients.
  • Any information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, or locate a single person or can be used with other sources to uniquely identify a single individual should be remove from the photograph. Such information include: such as patient full names, address (block, neighborhood, town), national identification number.
  • Any information that might identify the patient or hospital, including the date, should be removed from the image.

The suitability for publication of the image will be decided by the editorial team or a reviewer expert in the domain. Article processing charges apply to articles published as images in medicine.

Clinical images challenge (Image quiz)

The clinical quiz is a collection of images with suggested diagnosis. The images included in the quiz are derived from manuscripts submitted as Images in medicine and Case reports. To contribute to the quiz, ensure that your image or case report includes images suitable for inclusion in the quiz. Provide in addition to the final diagnosis of the condition, three differential diagnosis. The suggested quiz will be reviewed by one of our clinical editor for suitability. If accepted, the quiz will be posted without further notice. Authors of manuscripts included in the quiz will be acknowledged in our upcoming Image quiz contributors list.

8. Short communication.

A maximum of 1500 words in the main text (i.e. excluding abstract, references and legends) plus up to ten references and normally no more than two illustrations (tables or figures or one of each). Otherwise in the same format as full-length original papers (see above).

Download short communication templates to help format your manuscripts.

9. Systematic Reviews, Meta-Analyses Templates.

Contrary to what it seems, review articles are some of the most challenging to write. Articles submitted to the PAMJ as systematic reviews and meta-analyses should adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

A maximum of 5000 words in the main text (i.e. excluding abstract, references and legends) plus up to 100 references. Reviews are usually solicited, although unsolicited Reviews may be considered for publication. Prospective writers of Reviews should first consult the Editors.

Several PRISMA extensions exist that we invite prospective authors of reviews to consult and adhere to.

Download review templates to help format your manuscripts.

In addition, the PRISMA Website provides key documents for authors. Kindly ensure that your review follows these important guidelines

10. Letters to the Editors. Templates.

Comment briefly on findings of Journal articles or other noteworthy public health advances (up to 800 words in main text, no abstract, limited to 10 references). Please note that word counts refer exclusively to the main text and do not include abstract, references, or acknowledgments.

Download letter to the editors templates to help format your manuscripts.

11. Commentaries

Up to 2500 words in main text, 2 tables/figures, and an unstructured abstract of 120 words.

Download the commentary template.

12. Essays

Analytical essays provide a forum for critical analyses of public health issues from disciplines other than the biomedical sciences, including (but not limited to) the social sciences, human rights, and ethics (up to 3500 words in main text, 4 tables/figures, and an unstructured abstract of 120 words).

Download the Essay template.

13. Case Study

PAMJ approach to case studies is wide. Case studies are used mainly for educational purposes. We broadly distingue three main types of case study:

Type 1: A fictional problem purely for education purposes.
Type 2: The Analytical Approach examines a situation in order to try and understand the what and why. This approach do not necessarily propose solutions to the problem.
Type 3: The Problem-Oriented Method identifies the major problems that exist and suggest solutions to these problems.

Depending on the type of Case Study, the following structure is suggested:

  • Title (Required)
  • Abstract and Keywords (Require)
  • Introduction - Should include the objectives of the case study (Require)
  • Case study (Require)
  • Discussion (Optional)
  • Conclusion (Require)
  • Recommendation (Optional)
  • Implementation (Optional)
  • References (Require)
  • Additional material (Optional)

Download the Case study paper template.

14. Debate

This is designed to present a forum for critical debate about timely public health topics (up to 1000 words, 10 references). The following structure typically applies to a debate paper: Abstract, Debate, Competing interests, References (not more than 10 references).

Download the debate paper template.

15. Briefs

Report Preliminary or novel findings may be reported as (up to 800 words in main text, 2 tables/figures, and an abstract of up to 80 words). The following structure applies to a brief: Abstract, Brief, Competing interests, Authors’ contributions, Acknowledgments (if any), Tables and figures (if any, maximum 1 table and 1 figure), References (not more than 15 references).

Download the brief template.

16. Editorial

An editorial is an article written by or on behalf of the editors that gives an opinion on a topical issue. Editorials are usually solicited. Contact the editorial office if you wish to submit an editorial to the journal.

The structure of an editorial typically includes:

  • Editorial
  • Competing interests
  • References

Download the editorial template

17. Opinion

An opinion piece is a short article providing the personal opinion of the author on a subject of interest. Opinion article may be solicited or not. The following structure applies to an opinion piece: Abstract, Opinion, Competing interests, References (not more than 5 references). Contact the editorial office if you wish to submit an opinion piece. Download the opinion template

18. Media watch

Media watch are brief comments on a burning issues recently published in the general media : news papers (online or print), TV, video, interviews, books etc. Contact the editorial office if you wish to submit a Media Watch.

Download the Media Watch template

19. Perspective

A perspective essay is an essay where the author is asked to voice their opinion on a given topic. The topic chosen to provide a personal perspective about should be of clinical or public health interest to PAMJ readership. A perspective should not be based on the opinions of others, but should explicitly express the author's perspective or views. In the process of writing a perspective, the author should help readers understand how they form their opinion. A perspective is typically a non-technical document, easily understandable to a wide non-technical audience, so avoid using jargon. Use the first person (I, or we if more than one author). Use details and examples to illustrate your point.

20. Obituaries

Obituaries acknowledge the work of a significant and recently deceased professional. Contact the editorial office if you wish to submit an obituary.

21. Outbreak investigation reports

Outbreak investigation report should follow the template provided by the European CDC.

22. Supplements and workshop reports

We welcome conferences sponsored supplements and proceedings. Prospective conference organizers should contact the editorial office with the project for specific instructions.

23. Revised manuscripts

If you are asked to revise your manuscript you will be expected to provide a covering letter that responds in detail to each point raised by reviewers or editors, and to highlight new material in the text using a different color (do not use the 'track changes' mode of Word). If a manuscript returned to the authors for revision is not returned to the Editorial Office within the stipulated time-period (usually 4 weeks), it will be treated as a new manuscript.

24. Proofs

An email is sent to the corresponding author. Typographical errors only should be corrected. The corrected proof should be returned within 48 h. Failure to comply with this deadline will delay publication.

25. Permissions

Verbatim material or illustrations taken from other published sources must be accompanied by a written statement from the author, and from the publisher if holding the copyright, giving permission to PAMJ for reproduction.

26. Copyright

Consult the PAMJ copyright and licensing page.

Publication and peer review processes

Plagiarism check

We take the issue of plagiarism very seriously. All manuscripts submitted to the PAMJ are checked for plagiarism various tools and services including Ithenticate (through our partnership with CrossRef), Google search, and independent reports of suspected plagiarism. Suspected and reported instances of plagiarism will be investigated thoroughly, according to the COPE guidelines. Manuscripts confirmed with plagiarism can be removed from consideration for publication in the journal; actions against all the manuscript authors can also be considered. If the plagiarism is identified post-publication, the article can be retracted with a retraction notice published.

Editorial policies

Any manuscript or substantial parts of it, submitted to PAMJ must not be under consideration by any other journal. The manuscript should not have already been published in any journal or other citable form, with that exception that the journal is willing to consider peer-reviewing manuscripts that are translations of articles originally published in another language. In this case, the consent of the journal in which the article was originally published must be obtained and the fact that the article has already been published must be made clear on submission and stated in the abstract. Authors who publish in PAMJ retain copyright to their work. Correspondence concerning articles published in PAMJ is encouraged.

Submission of a manuscript to PAMJ implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that any research that is reported in the manuscript has been performed with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee. Research carried out on humans must be in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration, and any experimental research on animals must follow internationally recognized guidelines. A statement to this effect must appear in the Methods section of the manuscript, including the name of the body which gave approval, with a reference number where appropriate. Informed consent must also be documented. Manuscripts may be rejected if the editorial office considers that the research has not been carried out within an ethical framework, e.g. if the severity of the experimental procedure is not justified by the value of the knowledge gained. View our detailed research policy below.

Generic drug names should generally be used. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand names in parentheses in the Methods section.

We ask authors of PAMJ papers to complete a declaration of competing interests, which should be provided as a separate section of the manuscript, to follow the Acknowledgements. Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read 'The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests'. To learn more about competing interests the following articles provide some background:

  • Morin K, Rakatansky H, Riddick Jr FA, Morse LJ, O'Bannon 3rd JM, Goldrich MS, Ray P, Weiss M, Sade RM, Spillman MA.Managing conflicts of interest in the conduct of clinical trials. JAMA. 2002 Jan 2;287(1):78-84.
  • DeAngelis CD, Fontanarosa PB, Flanagin A. Reporting financial conflicts of interest and relationships between investigators and research sponsors. JAMA. 2001 Jul 4;286(1):89-91.
  • Smith R. Beyond conflicts of interest. BMJ. 1998; 317 :291. []
  • Smith R.Making progress with competing interests. BMJ. 2002; 325 :1375. []

For all articles that include information or clinical photographs relating to individual patients, written and signed consent from each patient to publish must also be mailed or faxed to the editorial staff. The manuscript should also include a statement to this effect in the Acknowledgements section, as follows: "Written consent for publication was obtained from the patient or their relative."

Online submission

1. Requirements

Manuscript are submitted through the PAMJ Manuscript Management Platform (The PAMJ Manuscript Hut). You will need the following to complete the submission of your manuscript:

  • Name and email addresses of all authors.
  • Correctly formatted manuscript: Microsoft Word (docx only).
  • Correctly formatted figures in one of the acceptable formats (see Figures).
  • Cover letter that explains why the journal should consider your manuscript, declares any competing interests and confirms that the manuscript is not currently considered for publication in any other journals.

2. PAMJ reference style

We strongly encourage authors to use a reference software to format references. Output styles for Reference Manager and EndNote are provided below. In case these software aren't available, format your references manually.
A sample of the PAMJ reference style below [1,2].

  1. Kirikou Thomas, Doe John, Shaba Kevin, Kashawa Tuma. A sample of the PAMJ reference style as shown on the journal website. J Hist Fant. 2006; 76(11):204-212
  2. Kirikou Thomas, Doe John, Shaba Kevin, Kashawa Tuma. Another sample of the PAMJ reference style: as shown on the journal website. J Hist Fant. 2006; 76(12):212-228

Download journal output style for Reference Manager
Download journal output style for EndNote
Download journal output style for Zotero

Access the online Manuscript Submission System.

Article Processing Charges

To maintain its Open Access business model, the PAMJ charges an Article Processing Fee (APF) per manuscripts accepted for publication in the journal. from 1st January 2023, APC for PAMJ journals have been adjusted upward. The new APC scheme is appended below. Submissions prior to 1st Jan 2023 are maintained at $180 US. AFP are requested only if the manuscript is accepted for publication. Authors are expected to pay APF within 30 days of acceptance of the manuscript; passed this delay, the article may be rejected for non-payment of Article Processing Charges. We do not charge article submission fees. Authors or research sponsors are responsible for the payment of the APF. Authors who are covered through one of our Institutional Members are eligible for a discount or waiver of this fee. We strongly encourage authors to assess their capacity to cover the APF before submitting their manuscript for publication to PAMJ.

The table below lists APC for PAMJ journals (all amounts is $US)

PAMJ African countries LMIC and UMIC Non-African HIC
Images in clinical medicine 200 350 500
Letter to the editors, commentary 200 300 500
Other manuscripts 300 500 700
PAMJ One Health 200 300 500
PAMJ Clinical medicine 200 300 500

LMIC = Lower and Middle Income countries (Pays à revenu faible et intermédiaire).  UMIC Upper middle income countries (Pays à revenu intermédiaire, tranche supérieure). HIC: High Income Countries (Pays à revenu élevé). Income classification based on the World Bank Data of 2021: African countries (Pays Africains): listed as member state of the African Union. (Pays membre de l’Union Africaine)

Authors can request partial or complete waiver during the submission process. Waivers are subjected to thorough investigation and are rarely granted, considering that the amount charged is already very low and barely cover the cost of publishing a manuscript.

For more on PAMJ article processing charges, consult our contact the PAMJ sales office at

PAMJ peer review process

PAMJ uses online peer review (The PAMJ Manuscript Hut) to speed up the publication process. Submitted manuscripts, where applicable, will be sent to peer reviewers, unless they are either out of scope or below the language or scientific threshold for the journal as determined by a managing editor, a science editor or an associate editor.

The PAMJ follow a single blind peer review process whereby, reviewers know who the authors of the manuscripts are but authors do not know who the reviewers are.

Manuscripts submitted to the PAMJ will go through three type of review process:

  1. Internal review of the format and adherence to the journal instructions for authors: during this step, the editor in charge of the manuscript will assess the submission's adherence to the journal instructions for authors including the quality of the images and tables, the format of citations and references of the manuscript. The editors in charge of the manuscript may reject the manuscript at this stage if the issues identified are numerous or request the submission of a revision if the issues identified are minor.
  2. Internal scientific review by the PAMJ scientific editors: at this stage, scientific editors or qualified members of the editorial board will assess the scientific contents of the manuscript; focusing on all aspects of the manuscript including adherence to reporting guideline such as STROBE, PRISMA, CONSORT, CARE, sound science, adherence to ethical guidelines and compliance with the PAMJ editorial policy. Depending on the outcome of this internal scientific review, the scientific editors may recommend revisions, rejection, or accept the manuscript. Manuscript submitted in the categories: Case report, Images in clinical medicine, Letters to the editors, Comments, Opinions are usually not sent out for external peer-review.
  3. External peer review: Each manuscript is sent to 2 to 3 external peer reviewers. The decision to send the manuscript for external review is made on its clinical, policy or public health relevance. The external peer review does not preclude an internal one as the two can be conducted concomitantly. The decision on the manuscript will be based on the outcome of the combined peer review processed (internal and external). All manuscripts submitted in as Research, Reviews, Essay are internally and externally peer reviewed.

The ultimate responsibility for any decision lies with the Editor-in-Chief, to whom any appeals against rejections should be addressed.

Suggesting peer reviewers

Authors are allowed to recommend 3 qualified reviewers for the peer review process. Adhering to the following guidelines will help you identify peer-reviewers for your manuscript:

  • Provide the first and last names, institutions, and email addresses of the proposed reviewers.
  • Potential reviewers should not be from any of the authors' institutions.
  • Reviewers should be as diverse as possible, from various countries and/or institutions. Do not propose two reviewers from the same institution.
  • Do not propose members of the journal's Advisory Board or the journal’s editorial staff.
  • Do not recommend reviewers that have a real or perceived conflict of interest (for example: a collaborator or someone who has recently published with one of the authors, a friend, a colleague from the same institution, a family member, a funder of the study, etc..).
  • The reviewers should have proven and documented expertise in the field of study, with publications searchable on PubMed.

The editorial office reserves the right to invite or not the recommended reviewers. The editorial office will also ensure that the recommended reviewers adhere to the guidelines above.

To guide the peer-review process, the PAMJ provides a checklist adapted from the Review Criteria for Research Manuscripts 2nd Edition (AAMC). the Reviewers are asked whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable. Where possible, the final decision is made on the basis that the peer reviewers are in accordance with one another, or that at least there is no strong dissenting view. In cases where there is strong disagreement either among peer reviewers or between the authors and peer reviewers, advice is sought from a member of the journal's Editorial Board. The journal allows a maximum of two revisions of any manuscripts.

Reviewers are also asked to indicate which articles they consider to be especially interesting or significant. These articles may be given greater prominence and greater external publicity.

Check our reviewers page for more about the journal peer review process and how we reward peer reviewers.

PAMJ record retention policy (CrossMark Policy)

Material and records created during the submission process will be archived. Once archived, these material will no longer be accessible to the submitting author through the journal panel. The duration of retention of records created during the submission process is as follow:

  • Manuscripts already published: 2 years from the date of publication
  • Manuscripts rejected or withdrawn: 2 years from the date of the action

Authors willing to access these material would have to contact the editorial office of the journal.

We work closely with authors to make what we publish error-free.

When an article is published, the corresponding author receives an email and a correction request sheet which can be used to submit corrections to our online proof checking system if necessary. In each case, we make sure that corrections are handled as soon as possible.

All corrections are handled by the editor assigned to the article.

All other changes requested will be reviewed by the editorial team for appropriateness.

We publish corrections in Erratum and Corrigendum articles as soon as we can.

Once a manuscript is published, authors can request changes for; grammatical and orthographic errors, errors in the spelling of author names or affiliation, invalid or non-readable characters.

After a manuscript is published, PAMJ editors will not accept requests to change the order of authors, add new authors or remove authors.

Requests to make intensive changes anywhere in the text will be declined.

PAMJ retraction policy

Retractions are considered by the PAMJ editorial office after assessing evidence of unreliable data or findings, plagiarism, duplicate publication, and unethical research practices.

The PAMJ editorial office may consider an expression of concern notice if an article is under investigation.

When a retraction notice is published in PAMJ, the retracted article and the PDF are watermarked with “retracted article” before the notice is submitted for indexation on PubMed and other article databases where PAMJ content is deposited

Depending on the nature of the retraction, authors may also be banned from publishing in PAMJ for up to five (5) years.

PAMJ correction policy

The PAMJ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and follows the International standards for editors and authors [1] and COPE guidelines on investigating scientific misconduct.

CrossMark is a multi-publisher initiative from Crossref to provide a standard way for readers to locate the current version of a piece of content. By applying the Crossmark logo Publisher Name is committing to maintaining the content it publishes and to alerting readers to changes if and when they occur. Clicking on the Crossmark logo will tell you the current status of a document and may also give you additional publication record information about the document.

PAMJ participates in CrossMark, therefore, all published articles will display the CrossMark logo similar to the one below. By Clicking on the CrossMark logo you will get the current status of an article and will be directed to the latest published version.

  1. Kleinert S & Wager E (2011) Responsible research publication: international standards for editors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 51 in: Mayer T &Steneck N (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 317-28). (ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7)

CrossMark Logo

Permanent archiving of content

All articles published in PAMJ receive a DOI. The contents of PAMJ is archived on Africa Journal Online, PubMed Central

Whenever a published article needs to be corrected, the correction or retraction policies above will apply.

Authors conflicts and complaints resolution

Conflicts and disagreements between authors themselves or between authors and the editorial team are inevitable. All conflicts will be handled according to the Committee on Publication Ethics Guidance. Authors are free to bring their grievance against the journal to COPE. As a member of the COPE, some issues between authors or between authors and the journal can be posted on COPE website as case studies, in accordance with COPE editorial policies.

PAMJ Research Ethics Policy

All research articles submitted for consideration to all PAMJ journals should abide to basic research ethics as guided by international bodies such as:

The basic principles underpinning the ethical conduct at all stages of research are summarized below:

  • Researchers must abide with the following principles at all stages of the research lifecycle. This includes the planning stage, applying for funding, the conduct, and later stages of the project, such as dissemination and impact activities.
  • Researchers must respect the rights, interests, dignity of participants and related persons in research.
  • Research must be undertaken in accordance with any relevant common law or legislation.
  • Full informed consent should normally be obtained from participants to enable participants to take part voluntarily. Consent should be given freely without force or coercion.
  • Researchers have an obligation to protect research participants wherever possible from significant harm consequent upon the research.
  • The confidentiality of information supplied by research participants and any agreement to grant anonymity to respondents should be respected.
  • Care must be taken with collecting, handling and storing sensitive, classified and/or personal data. Such data should be kept securely and protected from unauthorized access.
  • Particular care should be taken to ensure that human data cannot be linked back to individuals unless by authorised persons. It is essential that all sensitive, classified and /or personal data are disposed of appropriately in line with legal and funder requirements.
  • Both the design of research and its conduct should ensure integrity, quality and provide benefits that outweigh potential risk or harm.
  • Research shall be undertaken subject to the principle of academic independence. Where any conflicts of interest or partiality arise, these must be clearly stated prior to ethical approval being obtained.
  • The same high ethical standards shall apply wherever in the world the research is being undertaken.
  • The principal investigator and the research team shall be responsible for determining what ethical issues emerge from the proposed project and for obtaining ethical approval of the project.
  • All research involving human participants is subject to ethical approval.
  • Research that does not involve humans but raises ethical issues or concerns is also subject to ethical approval
  • Researchers are responsible for ensuring the project is undertaken as approved by the University research ethics approval process and in compliance with any legal or organisational requirements.
  • Any major divergence from the approved project must be subject to further ethical approval and the researcher is responsible for acquiring further ethics approval before continuing with the research.

Volume 48 (May - Aug 2024)
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Articles published in PAMJ are Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
eISSN: 1937-8688

The Pan African Medical Journal (ISSN: 1937-8688) is a subsidiary of the Pan African Medical Journal. The contents of this journal is intended exclusively for professionals in the medical, paramedical and public health and other health sectors.

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